Real Simple editors put clever jar-opening assistants to the test.

By Lauren Phillips
October 22, 2019
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When you’re cooking—especially if you’re cooking with sauces or preserved ingredients—you’re going to need to open some jars. An obvious fact? Yes. But that doesn’t mean the actual task of opening jars comes easily to everyone.

For some people, it just doesn’t come easily, and some jars have ingredients or a manufacturing process that means they’re truly near-impossible to open. Plus, of course, some people have arthritis or other extenuating factors that can make opening a jar both painful and incredibly difficult, if not impossible.

There are plenty of old-school tricks for opening a stuck jar (think tapping on the top with a knife, wrapping the lid in a towel or rag, and holding the top under hot water), but there are also smart tools and gadgets that make the task easier. Unfortunately, these tools are usually separate from can openers, which aren’t much help when it comes to glass and metal jars. Is a jar-opening gadget worth the money and storage space? Or should you just stick to those tricks?

On this week’s episode of Like It or Leave It, two Real Simple editors (one of whom chronically struggles with jar-opening) put a seemingly gimmicky jar opener to the test. While one editor worked to open jars of varying sizes by hand, another worked with the gadget to see which method was better. (Watch the video above.)

In the end, deciding to purchase a jar opener (as with any gadget) comes down to a simple formula: How valuable the gadget’s purpose will be to you, minus the cost of purchasing the gadget and the space cost of storing it. If the product is positive, it’s a sign that the gadget could help you out. And if you really struggle with opening jars, having an easy fix could save you a lot of anguish—and maybe even a few partially ruined meals.

Previously on Like It or Leave It:

Is This Breakfast Sandwich Maker the Key to Better Mornings?

This Superpowered $8 Spray Can Handle Any Red Wine Stain

This Little Gadget Perfectly Chops Garlic in Seconds

Does Your Kitchen Need a Kale or Herb Stripper? We Tested One to Find Out

This $6 Gadget Could Save You Buckets of Money on Beauty Products